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We are Fan Owned Club

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Fan Owned Club (FOC) takes the community membership model common in Europe and brings it to the United States.

We aim to develop Austria’s FC Pinzgau Saalfelden (FCPS) into a truly global Club, giving international players, coaches and executives an entry point and a home in European football (soccer), driving FCPS to become a recognizable name across North America, Europe and beyond. Ideally, the FCPS project — a blank slate, albeit not from thin air — provides “proof of concept” for future FOC initiatives in both soccer, sporting, gaming and other platforms.

The Team

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Locally known as “Pinzgau,” the Club was born in 2007. Rising from the lower divisions, FC Pinzgau Saalfelden competes as one of 62 teams in Austria’s third division. A player loan deal with MLS Club, Real Salt Lake in Summer 2019 helped deliver the strongest start in Club history. We are one of six teams from "Regionalliga Salzburg" competing for promotion this spring.

The Manager

Legendary German footballer Christian Ziege signed a multi-year deal after joining as interim coach in Spring 2019. A former player with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Liverpool and Tottenham, Ziege was a Euro 96 winner, a World Cup runner-up in 2002 and has 72 caps playing with the German national team. Christian's early involvement has helped put Pinzgau as a destination for young players to develop their game.

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“Our single biggest recruiting tool, by far, is the sterling reputation of Christian Ziege. He is that DNA, that connective tissue.”

Trey Fitz-Gerald

The Plan

The Plan

The choice of Austria was not random. The Austrian Federation offers both reasonable entry costs and with five UEFA berths each year, the potential to reach European competition quickly was another factor. Our leadership team includes former MLS executives and front office professionals with a track record of business and on-field success.

During the Summer of 2019, the three-man, United States-led entity operating as “Fan Owned Club” joined the FCPS founders to initiate an enhanced vision and embark on an ambitious plan to introduce a new era for football (soccer) in the Pinzgau + Salzburg + Bavarian region of the Austrian Alps.

Fan Owned Club secured the limited liability operating company (GmbH) that operates FC Pinzgau Saalfelden and makes all Club-related decisions. Similar to club ownership in German, the Austrian Federation requires a non-profit entity (Verein) to hold the actual license to compete. The Verrin is controlled by six members, all of whom hold significant ownership within Fan Owned Club.

7
New Players
11
Nationalities
4500
Global Fans
12
Pinzgau-Born Players

Fan Involvement

Benefits of Being Involved with FCPS

Exclusive Club-related Content

Limited Edition Kit, Scarf, Pin and Discount in Team Store

Cultivate Policy and Involvement in Club Decisions

Interaction with Club Manager, Sporting Director and Players

Attend Annual FCPS Club Meeting in Austria

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Leadership Team

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Mark Ciociola

Chief Executive Officer

successful entrepreneur who for the last eight years has been the owner and operator of multiple franchises of Discovery Map International, a multimedia marketing and advertising company focused on the tourism industry. Mark is a former college basketball coach, real estate broker and owner of a sport tourism company. He holds a Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Florida State University and BS in Communications from the University of Wisconsin Madison.  Mark is also the Managing Director of FC Pinzgau Saalfelden and is based in Saalfelden Austria.

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Steve Paris

Chief Operations Officer

has 25 years of experience in both big corporate and startup settings. Before joining Fan Owned Club, he served as a Senior Vice President for Aimia, a global loyalty solutions company, where he worked directly with large retailers including CVS Health, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Wegmans Food Markets.  Prior to that, Steve spent eight years with the General Mills in both domestic and international marketing roles.  He holds an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis BS and a BS in Sport Management from the UMASS Amherst.  Steve is based in Nashville, TN. 

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Trey Fitzgerald

Chief Marketing Officer

owns 27 years of media and marketing experience in professional sports, primarily soccer.  He is a veteran of five professional organizational launches including Real Salt Lake, where he oversaw the club's branding, marketing, advertising, TV and radio broadcast, media, public and community relations efforts from 2004-2018.  Trey has also worked at Major League Soccer's headquarters in New York City.  He earned a B.A. in English from Regis (Colorado) University.  Trey is based in Saalfelden Austria.

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David Herman

Vice President of Business and Partner Development

is a hands-on marketer and life-long soccer evangelist.  The “Hat & Soccer Guy” works alongside global brands to help them leverage “The Beautiful Game” within their marketing strategies over the course of his parallel twenty-year advertising career. Responsible for marketing, social communications and brand strategy for Supporters of Manchester United in the United States. Before joining Fan Owned Club, David led media and platform sales for a myriad of renown ad tech and media companies and numerous successful start-up ventures and supports his ‘ other' local Club, Austin FC, where he resides, in Austin, TX.

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Christian Ziege

Manager

Legendary German footballer Christian Ziege signed a multi-year deal after joining as interim coach in Spring 2019. A former player with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Liverpool and Tottenham, Ziege was a Euro 96 winner, a World Cup runner-up in 2002 and has 72 caps playing with the German national team.

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David Crouch

Strategic Adviser

is the president and founder of ten24 Digital Solutions, an eCommerce software company recently named to Inc Magazine’s Fast 5000 list of private companies. With clients across retail and B2B, ten24 specializes in complex custom eCommerce applications with its proprietary SaaS plaftorm, Slatwall.  Dave has an extensive background in marketing, media sales. He has a BS in Communications from Syracuse University, where he was also a member of the varsity soccer team.  Dave is based in Worcester, MA.

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